Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
01. Don’t gift something to someone who is an expert in it
If you know someone who considers themselves an aficionado of something, do not attempt to gift them that something. For example, my sister gifted my SO and me a wine membership last year for Christmas (one of the many you see advertised online during the holidays). The wine we got delivered was terrible. They delivered in the summer (reputable wine clubs usually have a freeze period on deliveries during hot months to ensure your wine isn’t ruined during shipment).
If someone is a fan or experienced with some type of product, they will know more about it than you. Don’t give a professional chef a knife. Whatever he/she has on their kitchen is probably much nicer and more expensive than anything a layperson of that field would buy. If you know someone who frequents wine tastings and has a collection of wine, they probably have at least one (if not several) wine membership. The gesture to get someone something they would love is wonderful, but the actual gifts fall short.
If you choose to go this route, ask the gift receiver or someone close to them their preferences or do some snooping to see what they already have. There are experts out there to help find something comparable!
02. Wet your fingernails before cutting them
This makes them softer and easier to trim especially when using blunt, old or low quality clippers/nail cutters. Also as bonus, this prevents some of the clippings from flying as they should stick to the cutters.
03. Non-alcoholic drinks you can order at a bar
One day one of our readers asked us this question: What’s a non-alcoholic drink I can order at a bar when out with friends? We thought this segment might be appropriate to answer this question. Here are some suggestions.
- You can get a club soda with lime and everyone assumes it’s a gin & tonic.
- Sprite with a cherry.
- Lemon, lime, and bitters or orange soda and bitters. Depending on your attitude towards it, most bitters ARE alcohol based, and potent, usually 40%ABV. However, you’re literally using drops of it and it’s not enough to get you intoxicated. However, if you are 100% against alcohol consumption at all – be it health or religious reasons – this will violate this.
- A Shirley Temple (Sprite and grenadine).
- Roy Rogers (coke and grenadine).
- Seltzer with lime with or without splash of cranberry.
- Virgin mojito if they make them. It’s pretty delicious.
- Pineapple Juice and Sprite.
- Most drivers like an Ipanema. It’s like a Caipirinha but with ginger ale instead of Cachaça.
No bartender worth anything would make you feel bad if you told him that you’re the designated driver. If it’s a busy night, just stick with water or soda. Save the complicated stuff for slow nights when the bartender isn’t slammed. You’ll probably get free soda, but don’t forget to tip.
04. How to smile with your teeth
Buckle up my friend because you’re about to get that million-dollar model smile right now. So when you hear something really funny you laugh, right? Now think of those times when you’re not just smirking or not full-on laughing out loud like this and twisting up your whole face while tearing up, but that middle spot where you smile real big and show your teeth. Do you want it? Good…let the desire flow through you.
The reason a lot of people look unnatural showing their teeth while smiling is that for most of us, we aren’t actually happy but are just smiling for a picture. So some of us end up like this.
The key is to smile as though you’re actually happy for real. Practice standing in front of the mirror and laughing just enough to the point where you’re smiling and showing teeth, making sure you’re smiling with your whole face and not just baring your teeth for the camera. Think about something happy, sharing a joke with your friends, YOU GOTTA ABSOLUTELY RADIATE HAPPINESS AND THAT WILL SHINE THROUGH YOUR FACE LIKE THE SUN. Then you’ll find that you’ll be able to show your teeth while smiling for the camera more naturally.
It is especially important to actually practice it, because that lack of confidence in your smile will show through. So go practice.
05. How to Perfectly Cut a Cake
Clean off and warm-up the knife with hot water between each cut. You want to dry the water off once the blade is warm though or else the pieces will get soggy. This will give you clean, neat cuts and look much more presentable (if you’re trying to impress guests). A travel mug filled with boiling water and a dish-cloth usually suffices if you don’t want to stand next to a sink.
06. Buy restaurant-grade stuff
It lasts practically forever, and you can always find replacements to match. I bought restaurant chairs (plain black) for $18 each. These are designed for high levels of use and abuse. They’re rugged, easy to clean, and if I ever need to replace one or add a couple more, I can easily get matching ones, since they’re the same model in use for decades now.
Same applies to everything else for the kitchen. Plates, glasses, flatware, can opener, pizza cutter. I use them less in a month than a restaurant would in a day and if you shop at any restaurant supply house (every major city has at least one, if not many) they cost roughly the same as any department store and they’re just built to last. Restaurant/bar blenders will last forever.
There are actually a few places to buy this stuff online, in case you don’t live in/near a large city. webstaurantstore.com is where my girlfriend and I bought our entire cast iron pan collection, a wire cheese slicer, steel mixing bowls, stovetop griddle (also cast iron), HUGE cutting board (the white plastic polymer kind, something like 1.5cm thick), and a whole slew of utensils like measuring cups, etc., for cheaper than any retail outlet, either online or brick & mortar, could offer. Had to order it all at once due to the way they handle shipping costs, but we were able to plan the purchase out over a couple weeks to make sure we got everything our kitchen needed.
07. If two children are fighting over how to divide something…
Let one child split the thing and let the other choose which share they get. Teach them game theory while they learn to share. It also works for adults sharing cake or a sandwich. You cut, I pick.
My parents taught this when I was younger, so when I grew older I started to cut and also spit on the larger portion. I got away with this a few times with my brother. Then one time he said, “That’s fair” and spit on it too and took the smaller half. I learnt my lesson.
08. If someone experiences a near drowning…
Get them to an ER, and monitor them for 24 hours even if everything looks okay. Near drowning victims can sustain lung damage that does not manifest right away. This is called secondary drowning. There was an Oprah episode about this a few years ago, too. Little boy inhaled a bit of water, but seemed fine. Over the rest of the evening he started acting funny, had an accident for the first time in a year, but the parents thought he was just overtired. The kid died in his sleep. He was drowning the whole time.
09. Have elderly family members?
Ask if they use AOL, they may still be paying monthly fee for something they never use. AOL doesn’t charge a subscription for their e-mail service, but only “internet protection insurance” and their desktop application from what I’ve seen. You can access AOL e-mail through their web browser for free. They charge over $10 a month for their “services” like dial-up, which nobody uses in this day and age. If your family members only use AOL for their e-mail address, they can cancel their subscription and still use it just fine.
These are called “sleepers” and any subscription service depends significantly on people who sign up for a service and forget they’re paying for it month to month.
This is often also seen with service providers who hide contractual payment obligations deep in the fine print and charge people monthly for something while making it a significant endeavor to undo the automatic payment process. Most platform developers/service providers have entire legal teams that make sure they’re protected or that they can justify/validate their action to continue charging money on a monthly basis (even if people no longer use the service).
10. Don’t have your wallet in your back pocket when seated
It tilts the axis of your pelvis and over time can cause or exacerbate low back or hip issues. This can press on the piriformis nerve/sciatic nerve and/or raise (“hike”) one hip, causing the QL and other muscles to compensate. This may not affect everyone equally, but it is something to consider if you have sciatic or low back pain, especially on the side you sit on your wallet.
Also don’t carry a Costanza packed wallet. Only carry what you need and simply remove your wallet when you sit down.